The story behind the G-spot myth (1982)

In the 1980s, Beverly Whipple and John Perry were teaching women Kegel exercises for urinary stress incontinence. They identified a patch of erectile tissue that can be felt through the front wall of the vagina, directly behind the pubic bone. They named this the G-spot after Dr Ernst Gräfenberg, who wrote about the area in 1950 and published a book with Alice Khan Ladas: ‘The G Spot: And Other Discoveries about Human Sexuality’ in 1982.

Men were known to have a G-spot situated at the base of the prostate gland. This was clever thinking because it implied symmetry between the sexes. However, these anatomical parallels are erroneous. The only sexual anatomy that men and women have in common is the phallus (penis or clitoris). The male glands (including the prostate) develop from ducts that waste away in the female. As a result, a woman has very different internal reproductive anatomy to a man. So women do not ejaculate as men do.

Similarly, the vagina (including the anterior wall) develops from ducts that waste away in the male. So if women were capable of orgasm through stimulation of any part of the vagina, such a response would need to have evolved quite separately from the male’s orgasmic capacity. Yet there is no biological justification for women ever having an orgasm by any means.

There is no sense in anyone continuing sexual activity after they have had an orgasm. No one wants to (nor is it usually comfortable) to continue the kind of stimulation that causes orgasm once orgasm has been achieved. We can see this from men’s behaviour with a lover. A man only engages in sexual activity while he has an erection. Equally anyone who masturbates ceases stimulation as soon as orgasm is achieved. If women were capable of orgasm with a lover, they would end all stimulation immediately.

This does not happen. There is no point during consensual sex at which a woman refuses to oblige a man in attaining the goal of the activity – male orgasm. If women truly had an orgasm as a result of vaginal stimulation, they would bring an end to intercourse. Yet we never hear of this issue with women’s so-called vaginal orgasms. Men would not be pleased if women stopped intercourse before they had finished. Men’s sexual satisfaction (based on territorial instincts) relies on ejaculating into a vagina. Intercourse ends with male orgasm and ejaculation of sperm into the vagina because this is the goal of intercourse and the key reproductive event.

Kinsey and Hite did succeed in highlighting the indisputable arguments for the clitoris being the equivalent of the penis. Thereafter, researchers tried to find ways to make the clitoris indirectly responsible for female orgasm by suggesting that the internal clitoral organ is connected in some way or adjacent to the vagina. No one ever comments on the comparison with the male situation where men need much more direct stimulation for orgasm. The G-spot has succeeded for this reason. Men want to believe in the ability of the vagina to cause orgasm no matter how ridiculous the theory.

Regardless of whether the clitoris or the vagina is assumed to be the anatomy involved in female orgasm, it would never be possible for a woman to reliably use the stimulation of intercourse to achieve her own orgasm. Intercourse is a demonstration of the male arousal cycle from erection to ejaculation. This cycle takes a different amount of time every time. A man cannot predict himself when he will discontinue intercourse.

A woman is just an onlooker during intercourse. Apart from providing erotic turn-ons or increasing penile stimulation, there is little she can do to determine the length of time intercourse will last. Women are supposed to be ‘satisfied’ in some vague way when intercourse ends. Her satisfaction derives primarily from a relief that the man has achieved his sexual release.

In 2010 Andrea Burri did some research at Kings College, London. There was no physical examination. There were 3,000 women, pairs of identical and non-identical twins, who completed a survey. Among other questions, they were asked if they believed they had a small area on the front of the vagina that was sensitive to deep pressure. The study (the biggest of its kind to date) concluded that the G-spot as a well-defined area did not exist. Despite appearing in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the findings have had little impact compared with the sensational success of the original theory.

Other areas of science involve proposing theories that are then tested and supported by considerable evidence before they are accepted. Yet the G-spot (which has never been described as a theory) continues to be promoted despite widespread cynicism and contrary evidence. The G-spot is still actively promoted today after more than 30 years. It could never apply to every woman because the samples involved were so small. Yet the G-spot is talked about as if every woman can benefit from knowing about it.

All published scientific data indicate that the G-spot does not exist (and the female prostate has no anatomical structure that can cause an orgasm). (Vincenzo & Giulia Puppo 2014)